Zeroing in on minorities, particularly older adults, blacks and Latinos, health officials said churches, mosques and schools are places where barriers to vaccinations can be taken down, and these minorities can be convinced to get vaccinated. Besides hosting flu shot clinics, churches can also help by putting reminders in their bulletins, and by church members personally reminding others to get their shots, officials said.
They even went so far as to encourage the churches to pay people’s insurance co-pays so they’d be more inclined to get the shots. For those who simply can’t pay anything, there’ll be 300,000 free shots given out as part of the flu vaccine crusade.
Who’s Funding This?
The original concept of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, developed in 2001, was to help community leaders enhance the 1998 Initiative to Eliminate Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Health.
The partnership targets cancer screening, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, infant mortality, HIV/AIDS and vaccinations. It also originally covered complementary and alternative health care options, although that type of care, which would include health measures other than vaccines, was not even listed as an option during this phone conference.
For at least 10 years, this collaboration of community-based volunteers, nonprofit organizations and faith-based groups worked at a grassroots level in their respective neighborhoods, funded by Congress through various health care grants.
However, in 2010 the initiative took a turn with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which moved the initiative’s management to the Center for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, paving the way for the federal government to fund and run projects like flu clinics right in your church.
Interestingly, flu shots were already covered by most insurance plans, Medicare and the Vaccines for Children (VFC) program.
But for some reason health officials have decided it’s OK to push the government into places of worship, mid-service, to sell and administer vaccines – and this no-press-allowed phone call reiterated that over and over again. I can only wonder which vaccine they’ll move into your church next, all in the name of “community health.”